K&N VP Tim Martin Receives SEMA's Highest Honor, Person of the Year 2016

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Photo of Tim Martin Vice President at K&N Engineering

Tim Martin, with K&N Engineering for 17 years, possesses a uniquely, diverse career background

SEMA, Specialty Equipment Market Association, was formed in 1963 to provide services for employees of its member companies that include education, professional development, market research, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry publications, international business development and business to business events.

In its 50th year, SEMA’s mission still stands to promote and build the automotive aftermarket industry as a whole. Consisting of more than 6,300 companies worldwide, SEMA brings together aftermarket manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, media, car dealers, specialty equipment distributors, installers, retailers, restoration specialists, and more. Inspiring and creating opportunities for men, women, and youth all over the world through the generosity of professionals who volunteer their time to make this organization what it has become 50 years after its inception.

The foremost mission of SEMA is to provide tools that help members succeed and prosper. Built on the notion that through volunteerism they can and will achieve their mission. As it has from the beginning, SEMA continues to rely on the leadership and forward thinking of committed, like-minded individuals from every aspect of the industry. Passionate individuals who contribute their time and energy, freely, for the benefit of all, contributing to the growth of the automotive specialty-equipment industry and address the broad range of issues facing association members. In that tenor each year, SEMA bestows its highest honor—the Person of the Year Award—on an individual who embodies the association’s mission. For 2016, that person is Tim Martin of K&N Engineering.

Cover of SEMA publication with 2016 Person of the Year, Tim Martin, K&N Engineering's COO.

Tim Martin, Vice President at K&N Engineering, the 2016 SEMA "Person of the Year"

The award recognizes the outstanding contributions to the specialty-equipment industry by the honoree over the course of a year. To be considered, the candidate must work in a SEMA-member company. He or she must exhibit integrity, professionalism, service, and an ethic that continues forward momentum aligned with the SEMA mission.

The 2016 Person of the Year honoree, Tim Martin, has served many years as a Vice President at K&N. His passion for racing, performance, and the street-car culture led him to seek a place on the SEMA Board of Directors. He holds degrees in electrical engineering and computer engineering from the University of Missouri and a Master’s Degree in management from the University of Southern California. His expertise with business technology and digital marketing made him an integral part of SEMA’s Business Tech Committee’s success where he served five years on the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) Board of Directors. With Martin at the helm, the SDC this past year reached two extraordinary membership milestones: more than 300 suppliers representing 500 different brands, and nearly 1,000 receiver companies reaching tens of thousands of wholesale, retail and internet resellers.

Photo of Martin speaking at the 50th Annual SEMA Banquet upon receiving the Person of the Year honor

Martin, SEMA's Person of the Year honoree, eloquent & humbled, spoke at the 50th Annual SEMA Banquet

“SEMA is proud to honor Tim Martin as our 2016 Person of the Year,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “In both his leadership capacities at K&N and on our SEMA Board of Directors, he has become known as a knowledgeable and trusted voice on the business and technological issues that are reshaping the specialty-equipment marketplace. His initiative, leadership, and advocacy of industry causes continues to drive us all forward, making a positive impact on SEMA members in ways too many to count.”

Martin’s continued engagement with SEMA includes service on a variety of task forces and committees in addition to his outstanding service on the SEMA Board of Directors. Most recently his focus has included membership in the SEMA Youth Engagement Task Force and SEMA Garage Advisory Group, both of which are addressing key SEMA initiatives. But his contribution doesn’t stop there. Currently, he also serves as chairman of the Next Gen work group. In all of these endeavors, his judgment and experience have made him a valued mentor and a respected resource to Board and committee newcomers.

Photo of SEMA's past Person of the Year honorees' Rich Barsamian and Kathryn Reinhardt, w/ M

SEMA's past Person of the Year honorees, Rich Barsamian and Kathryn Reinhardt with Tim Martin

Martin brings his diverse and rich career background to his work. Before coming on board with K&N, Martin worked as an engineering project manager for the U.S. Navy and software consultant to a variety of industries. Since joining K&N Engineering in 1997, Martin has managed different departments touching on nearly every facet of aftermarket business, from sales and marketing to software development and information technology.

K&N brand loyalist and ambassador, Jessi Combs, who emceed the annual Industry Awards Banquet had this to say of the K&N Engineering VP, “The person we’re honoring with tonight’s award could be described in three words: he’s building us. Industry folks and members of the association describe him as someone who works tirelessly; a man who freely gives of his time and resources, stepping up whenever a leader is needed, including for youth engagement and legislative issues. But he does it for his love of the industry, not to be honored ... His generous involvement and superb contributions reflect the very special qualifications this award demands.”

Photo of Tim Martin and his wife Kristen

Tim Martin with his lovely wife, Kristen

“It is a great honor to be recognized as the 2016 SEMA Person of the Year,” Martin said upon receiving the award. “It has been a privilege to work with the SEMA leadership team on many issues that matter to all SEMA members. I could not volunteer without the support of the team at K&N and my wife and family. SEMA has many hard-working volunteers, and our industry is filled with talented people. Working with SEMA staff and volunteers has been a rewarding experience for me. This is an industry full of people who love what they do. The work that SEMA is doing is very important to the future of our industry and the automotive lifestyle. I am very thankful to be involved with SEMA and to be recognized as playing a part in our accomplishments on behalf of SEMA members.”

Our most heartfelt congratulations goes out to our very own Tim Martin for this amazing honor and showing how real leadership can positively impact the automotive aftermarket industry, the automotive industry as a whole. We look forward to seeing and being a part of his journey here at K&N Engineering and as a part of SEMA.


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